Notes of Impact | Spring 2019

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YOUR LIFELONG LEARNING PARTNER The latest news from the University of Denver’s University College.

New supply chain management program to meet growing demand, pg. 8 Navigating the landscape of higher education, pg. 13




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SHARE YOUR STORY! Recently earned a promotion, changed to a new job, or spoke at a conference? Let us know! Share your story at

NOTES FROM THE DEAN Dear Friends, Spring is a time of renewal and at University College we find ourselves renewing our commitment to serving adult learners across the Front Range and around the world. In the past year, we have served more than 5,000 learners in one way or another — through our Center for Professional Development, Enrichment Program, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, and our academic programs. We enroll students from every state and several countries. That’s an incredible reach! So wherever you find yourself in your learning journey or in the world, thank you for being part of our University College and University of Denver community. Explore the stories of our students, alumni, and faculty making an impact and share your own at Sincerely,

Michael McGuire Dean @DUucoldean



STRATEGIC PLANNING University College continues to execute on its 2018-2022 strategic plan, launching new initiatives and finding opportunities to meet the educational needs of the community through programming and partnerships. From offering stackable credentials such as the Specialized Graduate Certificate to exploring the revitalization of the University College brand, expanding partnerships with campus units to hosting the 2019 Colorado Adult Learning Symposium (see page 13), realizing the vision of the strategic plan is underway.

NEW PROGRAMS In order to meet the rising demands of one of the biggest and fastest-growing industries— healthcare—University College now offers a BA in Healthcare Administration through their top-ranked Bachelor of Arts Completion Program. Offering students an opportunity to learn about healthcare through the lens of the patient, provider, payer, and population, this program explores at healthcare technology, organizational leadership, and health policy. Combating data breaches has become a must for businesses. The new master’s degree concentration and certificate area in Cybersecurity Management prepares IT leaders to anticipate and mitigate cybersecurity risks. This past December, Marriott International reported that more than 500 million customer records were accessed when their Starwood reservation system was hacked. Later that month, Quora had a data breach where as many as 100 million users information was compromised. As data breaches continue to make headlines, businesses need to find ways to prevent data breaches and protect consumer data. From delivering healthcare to assessing security, leading organizations to safeguarding the environment, supply chain management is at the core of most business operations. In fact, Harvard Business Review found that U.S. supply chain employs over 37% of the workforce and over 40 million people. In order to prepare for this demand, University College has partnered with the Daniels College of Business and the Transportation Institute at the University of Denver to offer a graduate certificate in Supply Chain Management and several options to pursue a master’s degree concentration in the area. Read more on page 8. 4


INTRODUCING SPECIALIZED GRADUATE CERTIFICATES Ready to retool or upskill? University College now offers four-course Specialized Graduate Certificates in all academic areas, from creative writing to IT. According to Forbes, the number of working professionals who hold post-baccalaureate certificates has increased more than 50% since 2005, and the numbers continue to grow. As the job market constantly evolves, many working professionals are seeking opportunities to learn new skills to enhance or switch careers. This new offering through University College provides the opportunity to quickly gain a new credential and a whole new set of skills. Thinking about earning a new credential? Here are four benefits of a graduate certificate. Cost-Effective Pursuing a graduate certificate is a cost-effective way to gain a new credential and new skills. Especially for career changers, enrolling in a graduate certificate program before a master’s degree can help you pick the right path. ROI A graduate certificate can help give you a bump in pay. According to the Washington Post, professionals who earn a graduate certificate can receive anywhere from 13-25% increase in salary. Talk about ROI! Stay Relevant According to the World Economic Forum, some of the most sought-out jobs today did not exist a decade ago, and the pace of new jobs is accelerating. Earning a graduate certificate makes you more agile to all the workplace trends and provides you with new knowledge and in-demand skills. Use Credits Toward a Master’s Degree Thinking about earning a master’s degree but not sure if it’s right for you? At the University of Denver’s University College, you can stack your credentials and use the credits earned in a certificate program directly toward a master’s degree. The Specialized Graduate Certificate requires four courses and can be completed in six months. Once completed, stack that credential into a six-course Graduate Certificate or master’s degree. Learn more at





Dreams Reality W H EN


In the abstract, following your passion sounds simple enough. But what does that look like in reality? For Heidi Ganahl— community leader, entrepreneur, and University College alumna—it meant going all in on a venture she had always dreamed of.

Nearly two decades ago, Heidi started Camp Bow Wow, a dog day care that is now the largest pet care franchise in North America. Heidi grew the business from one location in Denver to more than 150 locations across the country, half of which are owned by women. While the dog days are over for Heidi – she sold Camp Bow Wow in 2014 – her entrepreneurial spirit continues with other ventures from female empowerment to free speech. The common thread throughout all of her undertakings? Passion. “The way you find your passion is really paying attention to yourself and seeing what you love to do and trying to build a life or career around that,” she said. “Tap into your love for healthcare, the arts, business— whatever you’re passionate about.” Mind-mapping, finding mentors, and networking are all ways to help uncover and cultivate your passion according to Heidi, along with surrounding yourself with great people. “Make sure the people around you exemplify how you want to live your life.” Heidi advises that it’s important to ask others for advice or mentorship, especially within current networks like fellow University of Denver alumni. She describes Denver as an open culture when it comes to networking and obtaining guidance from leaders within the community. This was something that stood out to Heidi during her time at DU’s

University College.

“University College was really helpful in that they brought in incredible leaders in business and the community who were leading organizations, so it was a really hands-on experience,” she said. “It taught me a lot about taking things to another level in a systematic way and solving big social issues.” This lesson of solving big issues has been applied to the real world in Heidi’s founding of the Fight Back Foundation, an incubator for social entrepreneurs that tackles the most pressing issues confronting kids in Colorado. In another entrepreneurial endeavor, Heidi recently launched a new book and app called SHEFACTOR™ that aims to tackle gender disparity in entrepreneurship and business. It covers nine parts of life and helps users set goals and prioritize. “The She Factor is like a net promoter score for your life,” she explained. “It’s for young women launching their lives and careers and it gives them a common language to talk to peers and mentors.” SHEFACTOR™ launched in May 2019 and is available at To learn more about Heidi’s journey, watch her TED Talk: The Art of the Comeback.






SUPPLY CHAIN The University of Denver has launched new graduate-level credentials to help prepare professionals for the dynamic field of supply chain management — an industry that accounts for 37% of all jobs in the United States. Offered jointly between University College, the Daniels College of Business, and the Transportation Institute at the University of Denver (DTI), this graduate program provides end-to-end knowledge of supply chain management. Jack Buffington, program director and professor of the practice at the University of Denver, is hoping to prepare emerging leaders and career changers to solve problems using supply chain knowledge. Discover more about supply chain and its impact in our Q&A with Jack, then learn more about the program at

How would you describe the 21st century supply chain and how is it proving disruptive? Today’s 21st century supply chain is significantly more fluid and dynamic than the traditional linear relationships of the 20th century. Business leaders must be able to adapt quicker through their supply chains to lead in their markets, driven by thought leaders such as Amazon, and an increasing number of start-ups. Disruption is just another way of saying that companies must be able to adapt more fluidly and rapidly in order to succeed, and supply chain management is at the center of this 21st century model of markets.

How can supply chain be used to solve problems? Supply chain management thinking can be applied beyond the supply chain as a method of solving problems in business and society in general. Supply chain is a formal and informal combination of relationships where structure, alignment, and collective goals are important. Our goal is to teach our students how to be problem solvers both in business and in the world beyond commercial problems and opportunities. Supply chains are the vehicle for change, and when the discipline of supply chain is viewed in this lens, it provides not just a different glimpse of business, but that of the world as well, and this is valuable for practically any field of study and practice.

What’s next for supply chain? Supply chains in business will continue to be this ebb and flow of both good and bad, and it will be up to thought leaders to strike the right balance through win-win solutions that both improve the economy and environment at the same time. This is what’s next for supply chain in industry, and our goal at DU is for our program to be at the forefront of these necessary discoveries! 8







GLOBALLY LOCALLY Story by Madeline Phipps Photo and Cover Photo by Wayne Armstrong

Kacie Hopkins has known she wanted to make a difference on a global scale since college. Hopkins learned about the horrors of human trafficking as an undergraduate student living outside of Chicago. “When I first started my global studies program at North Central College, I read a book about a trafficking victim from Nepal, and it really opened my eyes to wanting to study the abuse of women,” she says. After graduating, she continued to hone that focus, working at a rape crisis center as a shelter advocate for survivors of rape, domestic violence and trafficking. Hopkins’ interest in studying global issues didn’t dissipate while she worked, but there was one problem: The rural town she calls home, Avis, Pennsylvania, has a population of 1,200. It’s also situated close to the center of the state, around 200 miles from major cities Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. “I wanted to study something global, but where I live there are no programs,” she explains. “I was most passionate about global studies, and after finding the classes involved in the online master’s in Global Community Engagement, it sounded awesome.” Hopkins decided to enroll in the master’s program, offered through the University of Denver’s University College, to continue to pursue her passion. One of the highlights for Hopkins was an independent study, which her professors helped her arrange to incorporate a last-minute service trip to the Bahamas. She learned about healthy cross-cultural relationships in business, focusing on topics like toxic charity and creating good business structures. “I wanted to learn about how to

build a relationship with someone in a different country specifically so that I could support entrepreneurs in impoverished communities.” From that trip and independent study course grew Wildflower Enterprises, the business Hopkins runs with her sister Kaitlyn to empower women in rural communities. Her trip also led to a partnership between Wildflower Enterprises and two female artists in the Bahamas, whom she now helps with jewelry sales and business consulting. “One goal of our business is to teach people how to use the resources they have around them to create a sustainable life and community,” she says. “I feel like I have a calling to stay in a rural environment. It makes me sad that people here are often neglected, and with my education I feel like I need to be somewhere to make a difference.” Hopkins was initially unsure whether an online program would fit her needs. It was something she’d never done before, and she had some challenges during her undergraduate years that made a master’s program seem out of reach. Ultimately, the online format turned out to be a natural fit for her area of study. “I’ve taken four classes from one of my favorite professors, Darryl Meekins, who actually lives in South Africa and teaches our classes from there,” she says. “This program has been amazing because I’m living in this tiny town in Pennsylvania, but I’m connected with classmates in all different parts of the country, from Denver to D.C. It’s really helped me understand how to start a global business and stay connected.”


$60 registration fee $45 for students, military, presenters, partner university staff & groups 12

NavigAting the Landscape of Higher Education This summer, thought leaders focused on adult education from across the Front Range will gather at the University of Denver to discuss ways to navigate the landscape of higher education at the 2019 Colorado Adult Learning Symposium (CALS). Hosted by University College, CALS is part of an ongoing strategic effort to lead and engage in critical discussions about adult learner needs. CALS will provide an intentional space to address what adult learners need and how institutions can meet those needs. From marketing and retention to advising and teaching, the many factors that impact a student’s experience in higher education will be explored. Geared for members of the higher education community who serve adult learners, CALS will provide attendees with practical, applicable strategies for addressing adult learners’ needs in our communities. If you are a higher educational professional whose work touches the lives of adult learners, consider attending on August 16. Tracks include:

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Supporting the Life Cycle of Adult Learners Utilizing Technology to Deliver Quality Experiences Considering Alternative Credentials and Pathways Engaging Different Types of Learners Creating a Strong Value Proposition for Adult Learners

The University of Denver is committed to delivering enduring professional growth and personal development by providing adult learners access to high-quality education through alternative educational pathways. Through CALS, we hope to foster active discussion, interactivity, and—most of all—practical strategies that symposium attendees can take back with them and put to use in their own institutions. To reserve your space to attend, visit 13


Construction around the campus is in full swing as DU works to implement its strategic plan, DU IMPACT 2025. The Denver Advantage Campus Framework Plan was developed to help DU create a campus that is designed to meet the needs of current and future students, academic program development, sustainability goals, and alumni. Next time you find yourself on campus, check out the construction projects that are happening now or starting soon. Community Commons Construction on this project started with the demolition of the Driscoll North building, which began in January. The new Community Commons will have space for lectures, programming, studying, and a central dining hall. The Community Commons will also have multi-story pathways and gathering spaces throughout the building. During the construction on this project, the Driscoll Bridge will be closed, and pedestrians are asked to use the new “Z� crosswalk along Evans Avenue next to Anderson Academic Commons. Pioneer Career Achievement Center The Pioneer Career Achievement Center will be a centralized hub that will bridge connections for the DU community, specifically career development, employer engagement, and alumni activities. The Center will be located near East Asbury and South Gaylord Street and provide support not only for students but also alumni throughout their career. Dimond Family Residential Village Groundbreaking of this project took place on March 25 thanks to a $5 million gift to the University of Denver from the Dimond Family Foundation. The new Dimond Family Residential Village will house 500 first-year students and various campus-serving programs. Watch the progress on this project by visiting South High and East Asbury Avenue. To learn more about The Denver Advantage and upcoming construction milestones, visit






the personal side of

H E A LTH CA R E Adjunct instructor Matthew Dyer’s professional path started with a personal tragedy. When he was 15, his mother was ill and within a few years, passed away. From the time of his mother’s diagnosis, Matthew battled for insurance coverage and dropped out of high school to help fund the rising healthcare costs. “There aren’t many protections,” he explained. “They found any reason they could to drop her from insurance.” In the days prior to the Affordable Care Act, the pre-existing condition clause made it a challenge to find coverage. After his constant fight for funding and experience with a system that sought treatment over care, he found himself prepared for a career in healthcare and finance. Armed with knowledge of healthcare management based on his experience caring for his mother, Matthew pursued a business education at both the undergraduate and graduate level. He has worked in the government, non-profit, and private sectors, today serving as the Director of Finance and Revenue Cycle Management for a provider-owned healthcare group and the CFO of a non-profit Federally Qualified Health Center. “We need to equip the next generation of healthcare leaders and managers with the


knowledge to make informed decisions and create change,” he said. “Whether we like it or not, whether it’s better or worse, healthcare is changing.” From team-based care to advancements in technology, the changes in the healthcare industry are prevalent. With a focus on preventative care and a more intentional approach to who delivers care, Matthew says there is opportunity to improve the system and consequently, the lives of patients. In his courses, Matthew strives to make healthcare personal, especially when it comes to finance. “Finances translate to personal lives and everyone’s personal lives lead to healthcare,” he said. “We all have a self-interest and being able to link that in the classroom helps get people involved.” Matthew’s personal experiences have led him to be an advocate for quality, cost-effective care — something that can be achieved by transforming healthcare professionals into leaders for change. Matthew Dyer teaches Healthcare Finance and Legal Issues: Payment and Delivery Systems in the Healthcare Management program. He serves as a member of the Board of Directors for Rise Up Community School and was recently named to the board of the Chicano Humanities & Arts Council.



SUPPORT HEALTHCARE CHAMPIONS IN THE MAKING. SUPPORT STUDENTS LIKE EMMANUEL RUSAKA. Originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Healthcare Management student Emmanuel Rusaka has a vision to leverage his education in healthcare to help fight counterfeit drugs. Emmanuel’s mother was a victim of fake medicine and his mission now is to prevent this fate from happening to others through improved systems, data, and electronic health records. “People back home are dying with sickness that people should not die of today,” he said. “We need to develop systems that help patients and providers communicate and share information.” Emmanuel is a healthcare champion in the making and you can help him achieve his dreams. Support students like Emmanuel by giving to the Healthcare Management Impact Scholarship fund.

Text UCOL to 41444 18



Members of our Univesity College community are pursuing civic interests and making an impact in our community by running for office. In the most recent Denver election, Lisa Calderón (Masters in Liberal Studies, 2001) ran for mayor of Denver, Jonathan P. Woodley (current student, Global Community Engagement) ran for City Council, and Peg Perl (adjunct instructor, Environmental Policy & Management) ran for Clerk and Recorder.

Congratulations to Bobby LeFebre (Arts and Culture, 2013) for his upcoming play, “Northside,” being performed at Su Teatro in Denver this June. The play, written by Bobby and directed by Hugo E. Carbajal, is described as a tale where the heart lives and touches on the dynamics of neighborhood change and the innate human need to belong somewhere. For tickets, visit

We mourn the loss of University College alumna and Latino community advocate Sherri Vasquez (Applied Communication, 2000), former reporter and television producer. As the producer and host of Latin View, a PBS program with national distribution that aired for six seasons, Sherri shed light on civic issues impacting the Latino community. Sherri’s work included writing and editing with The Coloradoan, La Voz, and Rocky Mountain News. While earning her master’s degree in Applied Communication from DU’s University College, Sherri worked at the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce as VP of marketing and public relations. Sherri died in late April at the age of 56. 18

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